Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nostalgia

nos·tal·gia

–noun

A wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time

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Everyone has something that makes them nostalgic, whether it be related to people, places, or things. For me, it’s related to food. Not too surprising I’m sure!

I was always in love with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches growing up. No fancy shmancy peanut butter, just good ol’ Jif and no crazy jelly, Smucker’s was all I needed! And for bread? Plain sandwich bread did the job just fine. Nowadays, there’s gourmet peanut butters like PB Co, and gourmet jelly that is organic or made with exotic fruits. And plain sandwich bread? It still exists, but is almost buried under all the other options.

I’d come home from school and always have a giant peanut butter sandwich that never failed to hit the spot. Fast forward to present day and I can’t even tell you the last time I had a sandwich, not even peanut butter and jelly. I am just not a big fan of sandwiches anymore. Ever since I started cooking more and more complex dishes, I just think sandwiches are too easy. Silly I know, but I am not at a total loss—I can still satisfy my craving for PB & J flavored things with these glorious bars!

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Ingredients
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (9 ounces) chunky peanut butter (I used Jiff)
1 cup (9 ounces) creamy peanut butter (I used Jiff)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) blackberry jam or other jam (I usually add in about 1/4 cup more)
1/2 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.

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3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.
4. Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula.

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Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam.

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Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

RECIPE NOTES: You can’t get any closer to a PB & J sandwich then these bars do. Plus they cut super easy and would be perfect to wrap up and give for gifts!

RECIPE IDEA: Make a fun peanut butter and jelly themed gift basket for friends or family. First add in a basic white bread mix like this…

Next add in some gourmet peanut butter such as this..

A variety of mini jams…

These are from Sweet Thing Gourmet

Perhaps a peanut butter and jelly knife…

This is from Broadway Pan Handler

A sandwich keeper so there sandwich stays fresh..

Add in some of the PB & J bars once you make them and put them all together in a nice basket..

Simple, fun, and delicious!

 

What are you nostalgic about?

18 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Perfect bars! Definitely a nostalgic treat :)

Shannon, Tropical Eats said...

loveeeeeee pb&js :) diggin this recipe! bet they taste a million times better than the real deal!

that pb&j knife is adorable!! you find the cutest things everrrr

Sue said...

These bars look soooo good! I love the dollops of peanut butter dough plopped on top-YUM! The basket is a cute idea:)

Katrina said...

I LOVE pb&j sammies and still eat them often. And I know I'd LOVE these bars.

Melynda said...

My girls would love these!

Dajana said...

PB&J is a taste combo that I really don't know, in the sense I've never tried it. But I'm really curious about these bars.

Erica said...

Fun bars :) I've always been a peanut butter lover. My Mom used to make me peanut butter and apple as a snack all the time. I still eat it today and it brings me back to my childhood every time!

Krista said...

Neat gift idea! My kids love PB sammies! :)

Lisa said...

I always used to bring PB&Js for my home lunch. But, if I had known about these bars as a kid, I think I would have definitely preferred to take these instead.

Lisa said...

MMM! I love pb sandwiches!

Kerstin said...

Mmm, these look super tasty! I love that they have both creamy and cruncy PB in them too!

megan @ whatmegansmaking said...

I always hear people talk about these, but I've never had them before. They sound so good!

hbobier said...

What a creative way to eat PB&J! It sounds so good!

Danielle said...

Those look so good! Thanks for the step by step pictures(: I've always loved peanut butter and jelly anything. The pb & j knife at the end looks really cute!

Nicole, RD said...

Yummmmm! Those remind me of a PB&J bread I made awhile back...but BETTER!!! :) I'm nostalgic about chicken noodle soup and 7-Up...has to be Campbells and 7-Up...but really the 7-Up when I'm sick!

sophia said...

I didn't grow up on PB & J sandwiches, but I was always curious about that! I am nostalgic for my beloved Singaporean peanut pancakes...mm....

p.s. I am SERIOUSLY loving your new lay-out!

Salah said...

those bars look wonderful!!!

Kelly said...

Yum. Love that you turned such a classic sandwich into delicious bars.